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Max Otte
German economist

Max Otte

Max Otte
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German economist
Is Economist Author Educator
From United States of America Germany
Field Academia Finance Literature
Gender male
Birth 7 October 1964, Plettenberg, Märkischer Kreis, Arnsberg Government Region, North Rhine-Westphalia
Age 57 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Max Otte (full name Matthias Otte born 7 October 1964 in Plettenberg, North Rhine-Westphalia) is a German economist and independent investment fund manager. He is a professor for general and international business administration at the University of Applied Sciences Worms and head of the Cologne-based IFVE Institut für Vermögensentwicklung GmbH (IFVE: a privately owned institute for asset management), which he founded in 2003.


Max Otte obtained his Abitur (university entrance qualification) at Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium Plettenberg in 1983. After having received a doctorate degree from Princeton University in 1997, thesis later published as "A Rising Middle Power - German Foreign Policy in Transformation" by St. Martin´s Press and having worked as M&A consultant, Otte was Assistant Professor at Boston University from 1998 to 2000. Otte became widely known in 2008 after the financial crisis, because his book Der Crash kommt, first published in 2006, had predicted a large-scale financial crisis caused by U.S.-subprime. As a result, he has been known as the ‘guru’ of the crisis after the outbreack of the financial crisis in 2007.

Max Otte was one of the first economists to recommend nationalizing Hypo Real Estate (a German bank), long before politicians. In March and April 2009 he strongly recommended the purchase of stocks. Otte is sometimes called the ‘crash prophet’ – a title he dislikes. In November 2009, he was voted ‘Money Manager of the Year’ by the readers of the stock market journal Börse Online, winning 10,000 votes from a total of 24,000. In the same month, he confirmed that the value of (European) stocks were not yet too expensive. He defended his title as ‘Money Manager of the Year’ in 2010 and obtained more than half of the votes, competing against 10 other money managers.

The PI Global Value Fund (WKN: A0NE9G), founded mid-March 2008 and managed to date by Otte, achieved a 38% performance by 28 April 2010, outperforming the DAX by 38 percent, the MSCI World by 33 percent and the Euro Stoxx 50 by more than 60%. Otte invests according to the ‘Reinheitsgebot‘ (German purity requirements) in quality stocks, bonds and physical gold.

In April 2010 Otte called for the Southern European countries to leave the eurozone. Otte, despite being an independent fund manager, is in favor of strong regulation of financial markets. In his opinion sufficient equity capital should strengthen liability and constitute the basis for a return to sensible behaviour of banks in a market economy. He supported the German government's decision in 2010 to prohibit naked short selling.

Otte has published articles in newspapers such as Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung, Die Welt, Der Spiegel, Financial Times Deutschland, The Times, Harvard Business Review and Wirtschaftsdienst and has appeared on television, with broadcasters such as ARD, ZDF, SWR, n-TV, Bloomberg and N24.

Max Otte has dual German and American citizenship and lives in Cologne.


A Rising Middle Power? German Foreign Policy in Transformation, 1988–1998

In his book A Rising Middle Power? (New York, 2000) Max Otte examines German foreign policy in recent years. He focuses in particular on whether the increase in power following the reunification has led to a shift in the style of the Federal Republic of Germany’s foreign policy. Alongside a political economic analysis of the power potential of the Federal Republic of Germany, the book contains three case studies: Germany and European unification/introduction of the Euro, Germany and military interventions abroad and the eastward enlargement of the EU. Ottes surprising conclusion is that, whilst Germany’s power has grown, the demands on the reunified country have grown even more strongly. Germany diplomacy continues to be typical of a middle power, aiming at reconciliation.

Investieren statt Sparen (investing rather than saving)

In his book Investieren statt Sparen Otte describes how private investors can achieve long-term wealth creation. It is in the interest of the investor to carry out his financial planning personally, and not have it performed by a third party. Investment is the most important component of long-term wealth creation, although personal responsibility, transparency and availability of reliable financial information as well as patience for the investment horizon are also essential. Sound investments also involve taking calculable risks. In addition, Otte describes the advantage internet offers for carrying out online bank transactions, automatically placing orders, as well as facilitating communication and exchange of information between investors. The effect of doubling private assets is based on the principle of compound interest and the possibility of earning an approx. average annual return of 8-10%, for example on the DAX. The financial objectives are determined by disposable net income, the return on investment, the investment period and the age of the investor. The investment amount is defined as savings minus consumption. The highest yields can be obtained from investment in stocks. The ownership of stocks makes the investor co-owner of a company, enabling him to benefit from the economic success of the company’s goods and services. Successful long-term investments by private investors have largely resulted from investment in strong brands and quality organizations such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Sony, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, IBM, etc., which have been established on the market for a long period of time. The value of stocks is based on the present and future earnings of the organization. Otte divides stocks into several categories: ‘Meisteraktien’ (‘master stocks’: internationally renowned companies with global brands such as DaimlerChrysler, Coca-Cola, Siemens), ‘Kaufleuteaktien’ (‘trader stocks’: large corporations that are currently undervalued with a low price / earnings ratio; high earnings in spite of low market value), ‘Königsaktien’ (‘king stocks’: the world’s best mature large corporations and industry leaders that grow less quickly than revolutionary stocks), ‘Revolutionärsaktien’ (‘revolutionary stocks’: young growing companies with revolutionary, innovative ideas such as Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, etc.) and ‘Valueaktien’ (blue chips).

Der Crash kommt. Die neue Weltwirtschaftskrise und wie Sie sich darauf vorbereiten

(The crash is coming. The new global economic crisis and how to prepare yourself)

After the publication of his book Der Crash kommt, Max Otte became more widely known. The book begins with the preface from the first edition in 2006: “I can’t tell you whether the crash will come in 2008. Perhaps it will come already in 2007, or even later in 2009 or 2010. Human behavior – for that is what the outbreak of a major global economic crisis is about - cannot be predicted with mathematic precision, even if some ‘crisis prophets’ will always try to do so. Some of the strongest indications seem to point to the year 2010, others to the end of 2007. However, if I have correctly understood the signals coming from the world economy, then it will have to crash – and with an enormous impact.“ Otte sees himself as a political economist in the tradition of Friedrich List, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Werner Sombart, Alexander Rüstow and Wilhelm Röpke, and is inspired by the Austrian school of economic thought.

Otte accurately forecast that the U.S. property market and subprime securities would spark the crisis. He believes that there are several causes of the crisis:

  • the rise in debt since the beginning of the neo-liberal revolution at the beginning of the 80s, in particular in the USA
  • the excessive growth in financial assets, deregulation and relaxed monetary policy
  • the shift in the center of the world economy
  • excessive globalization
  • the deterioration in economic practices, partly caused by financial derivatives
  • demographic challenges

Moreover, Otte emphasizes that financial crises are not unusual in capitalism, however the majority of economists are reluctant to analyse them. In the last two chapters of the book Otte gives investment tips.


  • The United States, Japan, West Germany and Europe in the international economy 1977–1987. Between conflict and coordination. Schulz-Kirchner, Idstein 1988, ISBN 3-925196-67-6
  • mit Nikolaus Rollwage: Makroökonomik. Makro-Wissen effizient erworben. Mit 25 Kontrollfragen. WRW, Köln 1989, ISBN 3-927250-31-7; 2. Auflage: Makroökonomik. Mit Kontrollfragen und Lösungen. ebd. 1991, ISBN 3-927250-32-5
  • Allgemeine Wirtschaftspolitik. WRW, Köln 1990, ISBN 3-927250-51-1; 2. erweiterte Auflage ebd. 1991, ISBN 3-927250-52-X
  • Marketing. Mit Kontrollfragen und Lösungen. WRW, Köln 1990, ISBN 3-927250-61-9; 2. erweiterte Auflage ebd. 1992, ISBN 3-927250-62-7; 3. neu bearbeitete Auflage: Marketing. Mit Übungsaufgaben und Lösungen. ebd. 1996, ISBN 3-927250-63-5
  • Fitness und Karriere. Der neue Lebensstil für Spitzenkräfte. Gabler, Wiesbaden 1995, ISBN 3-409-19197-6
  • Amerika für Geschäftsleute. Das Einmaleins der ungeschriebenen Regeln. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt/New York 1996, ISBN 3-593-35592-2; aktualisierte Ausgabe: Ullstein, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-548-35791-1
  • Investieren statt sparen. Wie Sie mit Aktien alle 5 Jahre Ihr Vermögen verdoppeln. Econ, München 2000, ISBN 3-430-17286-1; aktualisierte und überarbeitete Neuausgabe: Investieren statt sparen. Wie man mit Aktien ein Vermögen aufbaut. Ullstein, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-548-37224-2
  • A Rising Middle Power? German Foreign Policy in Transformation. 1989–1999. St. Martin’s Press, New York 2000, ISBN 0-312-22653-5
  • Organisation. Mit Übungsaufgaben und Lösungen. WRW-Verlag, Köln 2001, ISBN 3-927250-06-6
  • mit Volker Gelfarth: Investieren statt spekulieren. Mit Aktien von Top-Unternehmen zum Gewinn. Econ, München 2001, ISBN 3-430-17284-5
  • mit Katja Zacharias, Dimitrios Patsavas & Helmut Gellermann: Investieren in Biotech-Aktien. So nutzen Sie die Chancen der Zukunft. Econ, München 2001, ISBN 3-430-17283-7
  • So bekommen Sie Ihre Finanzen in den Griff. Ein Investor-Village-Arbeitsbuch. Econ, München 2001, ISBN 3-430-14966-5
  • So bauen Sie Vermögen auf. Ein Investor-Village-Arbeitsbuch. Econ, München 2001, ISBN 3-430-14967-3
  • Der Onvista-Führer zur Aktienanalyse. Econ, München 2001, ISBN 3-430-17279-9
  • Der Crash kommt. Die neue Weltwirtschaftskrise und wie Sie sich darauf vorbereiten. Econ, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-430-20001-6; aktualisierte und erweiterte Ausgabe: Ullstein, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-548-36975-4; komplett aktualisierte und erweiterte Neuausgabe: Der Crash kommt. Die neue Weltwirtschaftskrise und was Sie jetzt tun können. ebd. 2009, ISBN 978-3-548-37290-7
  • mit Jens Castner: Deutsche Superinvestoren aus Graham- und Doddsville. Erfolgsgeheimnisse der besten Value-Investoren. FinanzBuch-Verlag, München 2007, ISBN 978-3-89879-242-4
  • Der Informationscrash. Wie wir systematisch für dumm verkauft werden. Econ, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-430-20078-3
  • mit Jens Castner: Erfolgreiches Value-Investieren. Geniale Investmentstrategien in Zeiten globaler Veränderungen. FinanzBuch-Verlag, München 2010, ISBN 978-3-89879-505-0
  • Die Krise hält sich nicht an Regeln. 99 Fragen zur aktuellen Situation – und wie es weitergeht. Max Otte im Gespräch mit Thomas Helfrich. Econ, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-430-20112-4
Published by Max Otte
  • Charles MacKay & Joseph de la Vega: Gier und Wahnsinn. Warum der Crash immer wieder kommt…Der Klassiker. FinanzBuch-Verlag, München 2010, ISBN 978-3-89879-560-9
  • Charles P. Kindleberger: Die Weltwirtschaftskrise. 1929–1939. FinanzBuch-Verlag, München 2010, ISBN 978-3-89879-614-9
  • Adam Ferguson: Das Ende des Geldes - Hyperinflation und ihre Folgen am Beispiel der Weimarer Republik. FinanzBuch-Verlag, München 2011, ISBN 978-3-89879-627-9
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